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Portland takes playoff spot with win over N.E.

Sep 17, 2011 - 5:05 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers moved into a playoff position with a comfortable 3-0 win over the New England Revolution at Jeld- Wen Field on Friday.

Portland has now won three of its last four matches, jumping ahead of D.C. United for the final playoff spot. The Timbers have 36 points from their 28 matches, while D.C. has 34 points from 25 matches and will play on Saturday.

It was a true team effort for the Timbers, as six different players were involved in the three goals and three assists. Diego Chara and Kenny Cooper notched first half goals on assists from Lovel Palmer and Mike Chabala, while Darlington Nagbe added a third in the second half on an assist from Kalif Alhassan.

Chara opened the scoring in the 9th minute following a passage of play where Portland applied a great deal of pressure to New England.

The Timbers controlled possession around the box, but could not break down the Revolution defense. A wayward cross was kept in play by Lovel Palmer on the right flank. His cross found Chara, who used his first touch to glide past three New England defenders before flicking a shot past goalkeeper Matt Reis.

Cooper doubled the lead for the Timbers in the 32nd minute, this time with Mike Chabala providing the assist. The Portland midfielder collected the ball on the left side of the box and played a low cross in front of goal to find Cooper, who simply redirected a shot past Reis.

Palmer came within inches of notching another goal for Portland in the 38th minute. A failed clearance from a corner kick fell to Palmer at the top of the box. He lashed a shot toward goal, but his effort struck the base of the post.

Nagbe wrapped up the scoring in the 66th minute with his second goal of the year. He met a cross from Alhassan with a beautiful snap header that snuck inside the far post.

The loss snaps a four-game unbeaten streak for New England, as it remains tied with the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC for last place in the Eastern Conference with 27 points each.

Portland will play two matches before New England takes the field again. The Timbers (10-12-6) will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday before heading East to face Red Bull New York on Sept. 24. The Revolution (5-12-12) return to action on Sept. 25 when they face the Fire at Toyota Park.